I am planning your first birthday party. What? WHAT? I don’t understand it, either.
What can I tell you about 11 months? This week you have decided that you can walk, and you haven’t really looked back. You now think you can walk carrying one thing in each hand; or carrying things that are impossibly large. You sprouted your first two teeth at the end of last month: one top and one bottom. Opposite sides. Like a Jack-o-lantern. Now you are working on the other two top and bottom front teeth.
You remind me of a seltzer bottle. Whenever Mommy opens a seltzer bottle, especially when she is at a party or in the kitchen of her boss, or sitting at a well-set formal dining table, the whole thing explodes in a shower of what Cakie would call bubble water. The floor, the ceiling, the pretty table cloth, my boss’s shirt — all get covered. For you, instead of bubble water, we get laughter. It is always sitting in you, just waiting for someone to open the top. Anything could do it, a glance at the cat, hearing your brother talk, touching Mama’s hair — anything. Then we get the laughter, a deep guttural baby laugh, punctuated by shrieks of bliss. I have it on video. I’ll show it to you when you’re older. I’ve show it to anyone who will stop for 40 seconds and watch the clip.
As the second child, you have some challenges that Cakie never faced. When Cakie was little, we didn’t have to negotiate for toys. Whatever he wanted to play with was available whenever he wanted (except our computer, our knives and our pills.) You don’t have it so easy. Your brother loves to play with your toys, but doesn’t really like you to play with his. And your brohter has an array of toys that you really shouldn’t play with. I get nervous every time I catch you with a possibly-lead-paint-laden matchbox car in your mouth. And all of these cheap goody-bag items all over the place from countless birthday parties. Cakie never had these things within his reach. On the other hand, you have so many more toys to play with than Cakie ever did as a baby. The toybox is your oyster… at least when Cake isn’t around.
This week you walked around in the playground for the first time. And tonight you walked around the living room nak.ed for the first time. I probably could have watched you do that for hours, if Mama weren’t so worried about possible pee on the rug. Your little body is so cute. Especially when it is walking all by itself — a little bit like a frankenstein-like crab — but walking! I’m starting to feel like a babbling teenaged girl. I’ll leave it at that. You are the cutest, most suave, most ambitious little walker I’ve seen in quite some time.
I’m totally unbiased.
I had to cut off your hair. It was so sad. But now you really look like a clean-cut kid. Like, maybe someone besides me takes care of you. (Well, you and Cakie both always look fab when Mama gussies you up. Me? With me you get more of a Little Rascals look. I try. It just ends up kind of freestyle every time.) Now you sometimes make us sing the “Happy Days” theme song. Though I don’t remember any teenagers-of-color on that particular show, you would fit right in when you wear jeans and a button-down shirt or a white onsie. Your hair is straight on the sides and back and curly up top. Again. So freaking cute.
Ok, my baby. I don’t really understand how you got so old so fast. It felt so much longer with your brother. But I’m so happy to know you. You make my days whole. You make our family whole. We love you.
Mommy (and Mama and Cake by proxy)
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